KUALA LUMPUR: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on the government to recognise failures in some policies and the need to review some of its fundamental programmes.
Citing the example of the New Economy Policy (NEP), Anwar said it failed to address poverty even among the Malays.
''Our policies have been proven wrong or to have fundamental flaws.
''In real terms, abject poverty remains. There has been social mobility but in terms of overall figures, we certainly need a major review.
''There is still grinding poverty, and it's worse for the Malays, some Indian former estate workers and in rural areas.
''We must acknowledge this and review fundamental programmes, '' he said in his speech at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSICCI) 90th anniversary dinner here Saturday (Sept 7).
To address the issue, Anwar said the government, particularly the Economic Affairs Minister and the Economic Planning Unit, should acknowledge the problem.
''One of the greatest disasters is a policy failing because you get the diagnosis wrong.
''For example, you have a bad injury in the left leg but you get the right leg amputated, '' he said.
Citing the findings of United Nations human rights expert Prof Philip Alston, who dismissed Malaysia’s claim to having the world’s lowest national poverty rate, the Port Dickson MP said ''it was not shocking'' to him.
''In any village in Port Dickson you go, be it Malay villages, Indians who were former estate workers, Chinese fishermen and the Orang Asli, all of them register much greater figures of poverty.
''So what Alston has reported, notwithstanding some misgivings, is not shocking to me. It's only shocking to those who have a clear disconnect
''The onus for reform is on the government, '' he said, adding that it must learn the lessons of GE14 where voters had rejected the previous government.
Reiterating the urgent need to propel the country's economy forward, Anwar said Malaysia needs to move on to a new economic agenda based on need, which includes the need for the country to grow.
''Obsolete policies (are those) based on race. We need new policies based on need.
''Our fundamental is economic development, this means the government has to do everything possible to propel the economy and attract investments within the environment of Industrial Revolution 4.0, digital economy, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in order to reduce the poverty gap.
''There also must be clear programmes to make sure the poor are being assisted by the government, '' he added.
Anwar also called on the various chambers of commerce to undertake programmes that transcend race.
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